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Old 01-08-2009, 12:03 AM   #1
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Private Campground Memberships

There are a lot of ads for private campground memberships on the web for places like 'Thousand Trails', etc. What's the story about these places? Are they worth paying for a spot in addition to annual dues? If anybody has experience or knowledge of these types of places, your comments would be of interest.

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Old 01-08-2009, 05:39 AM   #2
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I have only been to one Thousand Trails here near San Antonio, and that was to a special function where the community facilities were rented for the function. We did not camp, but did tour the whole place because, what the heck, we were in there and wanted to see what it was like. IMHO, it is not worth the extra money because what I saw was no nicer, and in some cases, not as nice as the Texas State Parks. But again, all I can talk about is this one park.

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Old 01-08-2009, 07:26 AM   #3
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From what I understand, Like Steve, they are quite pricey but it is like everything else, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I've got some friends that have a Monaco and they had the Thousand Trails package and then they thought it was too expensive for what they got out of it. There is a Thousand Trails Campground near Gunnison, Co. right on the edge of Blue Mesa Reservoir and it is quite nice. I do believe you can find other parks near by that are comparable w/o the TT fee.
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:26 AM   #4
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Depends on the park, how often you use it - ad nauseum.

Most are very oriented to families with children. For me, 200 rugrats running around the park every weekend wouldn't necessarily be a plus, but if you have small children it could provide a cost effective summer camp. There are generally many supervised activities such as hay rides, hikes, scavenger hunts, that keep the little darlings occupied so that the parents can have an hour or two of privacy.

Quite often if you buy a membership at one, you get camping privileges at the whole chain for $8 to $12 per night.

I bought into one that had gone nearly bankrupt. The original buyers paid $18K for a membership, and most were now willing to turn over their deeds - just to get rid of the annual maintenance fees of $600 per year. This park is now being better maintained though it is a bit less fancy than some - and basically I can camp there 40 weeks per year for $1200. Not bad for mme!

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Old 01-08-2009, 07:40 AM   #5
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Any private campground has an area set aside for seasonals who get a better monthly rate and likely leave their units for the winter. They're the ones with picket fences, decks, planters, you name it. Too many SOBs have flamingos IMO...

They're getting a break on nightly or weekly rates and not having to pay for a membership. Somebody would really have to show me numbers that membership + site fees aren't a lot more expensive than open lot storage near your home. Other campgrounds in the association? C'mon ... A Woodalls campground guide is cheap and good for a few years.

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Old 01-08-2009, 08:25 AM   #6
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We were skeptical about the whole time share thing but because we bought a small piece of property in Nevada City and plan to move there in about 6 years, God willing, we thought this would make sense while we are building. Camping and RV park campground in Nevada City CA, Grass Valley CA, Nevada County CA, California Gold Country - Harmony Ridge Resort

The purchase price was 6k. I thought it was a bit pricey at the time but we had the money and decided to jump. The location is perfect for us. We have teenagers that actually love it.. so that was a plus. The deal came with a free week of a cabin each year for ten years. We have yearly dues of $150.00. We have used this site about 5 times last year and gave up the cabin to my sisters family so they could join us. The cabins typically go for 45.00 a nightThere are a few other cool locations that we can camp cheap and be part of the resort ring. Reservations are easy.. there is no hassle.. and they are clean and very family oriented. Also the folks there paid a substantial amount of money to belong so your neighbors tend to be good quality people.
Im not saying it was the best investment we have ever made and its not like we have expendable money to throw around but we did it with our eyes wide open and so far no regrets.

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Old 01-08-2009, 11:53 PM   #7
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The comments so far have been very helpful. I hope to see some more.

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